15 January 2013

South Africa: Parents Urged to Visit District Centres for Placement At Schools

Pretoria — The Gauteng Education Department has again urged all parents who are still seeking space in schools for 2013 to go to their nearest district operation centre for assistance.

"They should not go to school and apply for space as schools are now dealing with learning and teaching. Districts would know the availability of space in their regions and can advise parents regarding schools that accommodate their children," said Department spokesperson, Charles Phahlane.

Phahlane emphasised that parents may not get the school of their choice but the department will attempt to find the next best school in terms of proximity to their place of residence or work.

The department has received about 4000 late applications for space this year, a lower figure compared to the same period last year.

Phahlane noted that at the end of last year, the department had handled about 15 000 late applications for space in January and about 12 000 the year before. In 2010, they had about 25 000 late applications.

The department attributed this year's lower figures to starting the school registration period two months earlier in 2012, where parents could apply between 22 May and 27 July 2012.

"After the closing date, we started assessing school readiness for 2013 in terms of textbooks, stationery, furniture, human resources and need for extra classes. We wish to thank all parents who applied during that time as this has enabled us to have a smooth first day of schooling this year," Phahlane said.

This year, Phahlane added, the department will start early with applications for space in 2014 and will make an announcement in due course. He urged parents to use that period to apply on time for space in the 2014 schooling year.

"Parents will be given a reference number that shows their position in the waiting list."

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